Neil Young has made ample reference to the ugliness and the Hiroshima-like destruction he says permeates the landscape in the oilsands region of northern Alberta.
Now, a condensed version of a film, which helped spark Young's fight against the Alberta oilsands – and that is being shown to audiences at his current concerts – is online.
A 15-minute version of Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands, originally a 43-minute, 2009 documentary shot for Greenpeace Canada, has been posted to Vimeo.
Although the video's producers have been accused of being selective in the footage chosen, the film showcases well the seedier underbelly of the industry in the Athabasca region.
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Shot entirely from the air, the video starts off with an aerial pass of northern Alberta boreal forests and rivers, before it focuses on clear-cut lands, open pit mines and tailing ponds.
When talking about the film earlier, Young called the oilsands, "probably the most devastating thing you will ever see."
"It's the greediest, most destructive and disrespectful demonstration of just something run amok that you could ever see," he said.
"There's no way to describe it, so I described it as Hiroshima, which was basically pretty mellow compared to what's going on out there."
The shorter version of the film is being played at the start of Young's concerts, as part of his Honour the Treaties tour.
The tour aims to draw attention to the oilsands industry and to raise funds for the Chipewyan First Nations, who are currently embroiled in a legal battle against oilsands development.
Public reaction to Young's tour and comments have polarized opinion on both sides of the oilsands debate.
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The last concert in the tour, which started in Toronto last weekend and also makes stops in Winnipeg and Regina, is in Calgary on Sunday.
Young's Calgary show, which takes place in the 1,798-seat Jack Singer Concert Hall, is already sold out, reports Metro Calgary.Tickets for the event sold for $253 a piece.
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